Lesson #1 - The Triple Threat
The Triple Threat is a technique that professional players use to maximize their profits and minimize their loses. What I'm going to talk about can literally revolutionize your game - if you take the lessons to heart.
Position is to poker what location is to real estate. It's by far the most important element of the game, but also the most overlooked - especially by newbies who may not even know what the term is. The concept of position in poker - or 'poker positions'- is quite easy to grasp. Poker positions simply refer to your physical place at the table in regards to the dealer, and while your spatial location at the table has nothing to do with how good of a player you are, it can impact how well you can play; that is, if you don’t take poker positions into consideration. In fact, disregarding your position can make or break your game.
It's important to know that anyone who comes after you in the deal has 'position' over you, meaning they can benefit immensely from watching the action that unfolds before it’s their turn to act. Acting last on each street puts you at an information advantage, which is a big edge when we are playing a game of imperfect information. The more you know the more likely you are to make the correct decision. The action flows through the player in position on each street, who has the final say on whether or not we see the next card for free or the price offered, or if the price needs to go up. Being in position you much greater control of the betting and subsequently control over the size of the pot.
The inclination to take control is something all exceptional players have in common, whether they are loose or tight. They don't wait for someone to make a decision for them, as much as it is possible, they lead the way. More often than not, they employ betting over checking, raising over calling. Being aggressive increases your odds of winning because it gives you two ways to win, whereas playing passively only gives you one way to win (i.e. by having the best hand). When you're aggressive, you can also win by playing strategically and making people believe you have the best hand. You don’t actually have to have the best hand, you just have to be strategically aggressive (i.e. confident) enough to make your opponents fold their hands and surrender the pot to you.
This refers to your cards. While cards are actually the least crucial consideration out of the three, they are still indisputably important. By playing the very best selection of hands and by playing better hands on average than your opponents, you can expect to win more pots than they will. Since over the long run everyone will catch an equal share of lucky and unlucky flops, whoever is exercising better hand selection should expect to win a greater percentage of all the pots played.
Of course, it is also possible to be too selective and miss out on profitable opportunities. For example, you can exercise much more liberal hand selection when facing 1 or 2 opponents than you can when you're up against a full table of 9 or 10 opponents.
All this said (and I know I've said a lot), I could still write a book about how to use the Triple Threat. In fact, I have. If you want to make your edge razor sharp (like, lethal sharp), then snag my Cash Game Crash Course Guide.